Today's headlines are filled with outrage over the weekend shooting death of Kansas abortion doctor, George Tiller -- and righfully so, of course.
Many on the left are not only decrying the horrible incident, but are fairly calling on conservative Republican politicians and pro-life political groups to condemn this violent act; indeed, anyone who claims to be devoted to the rule of law must do precisely that.
Similarly, those dedicated to the empowerment of women must express outrage at a new article from Playboy titled, "So Right it's Wrong." The lead paragraph from the article itself best sums up what this ignoble piece targeting ten Republican women is all about:
Obama promised us the dream of post-partisanship -- a cuckoo land where party affiliation and factional animosity were forgotten. Turn on cable news or open any newspaper, however, and you'll quickly discover that the dream has yet to materialize. But there is a way to reach across the aisle without letting principles fall by the wayside. We speak, naturally, of the hate fuck. We may despise everything these women represent, but goddammit they're hot. Let the healing begin.
Just for fun? Maybe, but is this the sort of write-up something Huffington Post readers would ignore were it written not about conservative blogger, Michelle Malkin, but someone on the left?:
This highly f*ckable Filipina is a massively popular blogger who is known to dress up like a cheerleader on occasion (see video). She's also a regular on Fox News, where her tight body and get-off-my-lawn stare just scream, "Do me!"
References to a woman's looks and ethnicity? God help the conservative blogger who would write such things about, say, a Democratic Congresswoman like a Stephanie Herseth Sandlin or a Loretta Sanchez.
Oh, there's a higher level of respect one might expect for a member of Congress than for a blogger, you might say? Don't worry... the clown who wrote this article went there, too, with the following lovely description of Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachman:
Bachmann is a lusty congresswoman from the Twin Cities who's got some great twins of her own. She's rumored to have a Clinton-level libido, and with that batshit-crazy look in her eyes you just know she's a screamer.
The article went on to give her the lovely Hate F*ck rating of "Chemical castration has begun to look appealing."
Now, a parallel can't be accurately drawn between this rancid article and the shooting of a doctor, so please don't take this as though I'm equating the two acts; visiting physical violence down on someone obviously makes this weekend's incident more heinous by an immeasurably wide margin.
And heck, like many reading this post, I defend Playboy's right to publish drivel like this.
That said, the rest of us have the right to speak freely, as well, and we can rightfully condemn the precious, protected free speech of others when called for. So, is condemnation called for in this instance?
I lean right, politically, and I'm personally not easily offended. I don't even think this lame Playboy article, a cry for attention from a clearly fading brand -- and I do realize that to a degree I give them what they want by calling attention to it here -- represents an offense of the highest magnitude yet I think condemnation, particularly from the Left, is called for and here's why:
We all know that many good people on both sides of the aisle never consider entering the political arena because the brutal, personal nature of political attacks makes them think to themselves, 'why bother?' Well, it's not hard to imagine an article like this possibly having a chilling affect on some woman out there who might be thinking of running for office herself.
Aside from being simply embarrassed at how it makes their political side look, those on the Left should condemn this grotesque Playboy article on the basis that it might have just such an impact on a woman who could make a difference.
That is, if the Left ultimately stands for the empowerment of all women, regardless of party affiliation.
Follow Chip Hanlon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChipHanlon